Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bay to Breakers 2013

Salmon swimming downstream
 It's a very strange phenomenon when your husband places you in a herd of naked men running for their lives. Let me back up. Stewart grew up in the Bay Area. He left to go to West Point, was stationed all over the world, and went to Harvard Business School after being honorably discharged as a Captain. After having been everywhere, he decided the Bay Area was the best place to raise a family. So his goal from the very beginning of our marriage was to get back to CA and then to the San Francisco Bay. This might make one believe that he knew all about the Bay Area--the history, the traditions, etc etc.

A Nun, a Priest and a Rabbi walk into a bar-OUCH
When we moved here from LA a couple of years ago, Stewart told me about this great race where you get to run over the Golden Gate Bridge. He said people wear costumes like they do in the NYC Marathon and it is a really great time. So early this year, I signed up for this race that Stewart claimed began in SF and ended up in Marin County. What was the name of this race? The Bay to Breakers. I didn't really think about it much but as the race date got closer and I told people I would be running this race, it became apparent from people's reactions that there was something that just wasn't quite right. Some people would say, "really, that's very brave of you." And after the Boston Marathon, when I told people I was worried about the race because the bridge was such an obvious target, they just looked at me like they thought I was missing a few marbles. So I went to the internets and the veil was lifted from my eyes. Instead of a race with incredible views from the Golden Gate Bridge, I had signed up for drunken debauchery, complete with a view of naked men running through the streets!
TREE! In case you don't see the sign, he's run in the Boston Marathon

After I told Stewart what the race was really about, he said I couldn't put the blame squarely on him since I didn't do the research. This wasn't the first time he was wrong about something in the Bay Area, so I shouldn't have blindly believed what he told me. As a lawyer, I should have done my diligence. Yes, it was my fault for trusting the man to whom I had pledged eternal love and devotion. Nice one. To be fair, he did offer to run it for me.

This was a week ago. I started to panic. I didn't want to run by myself in a sea of drunken, potentially naked people. I asked a few friends but then it came to me like a bullet between the eyes. I needed Carol there. Carol was my roommate during my investment banking years. Any female banker, past or present, knows how to hold her own with a crowd of drunken men. Carol is also active enough that I knew I could ask her to run a 12K with no training and she would be able to handle it. And she lives in SF! I emailed her early in the week and, the awesome friend that she is, she changed her weekend camping plans to sign up for the race with me! Thank you Carol!!!!
Had to get Darth Vader

Carol had run B2B before so she knew about the costume aspect of it and wanted to participate. Since she was nice enough to run with me, I thought it would be great if I got into the spirit of things to wear a costume as well. I sent out an SOS to my MOPS group and they came through for me. I picked up the costume on Thursday. It was labeled adult, but I should have known that didn't really mean one size fits all. Sunday morning, I stuffed myself into the purple witch's costume over two other layers and went to the start line. Carol was dressed like a blue character from X-Men, I thought. A witch and a supervillian--we were ready for drama.

Thanks to having a friend there, I was able to run the race with more confidence. We did walk up the upper half of the hill, but the rest of the way we ran. Considering the longest I had run in the past couple of years was 3.5 miles, this was great. The run went really quickly and if I needed a boost I would play Eye of the Tiger again from my playlist. If you've been looking for a running app, by the way, Runkeeper is a great one! I clocked in at the finish three minutes under my goal of 1:30 (I just checked and my actual time was 1:24:53). We saw the Breakers! And Stewart, they are not in Marin County.

Breakers behind us at the end
I was going to take the muni back but I couldn't find it so made the call to the second number written in sharpie on my arm. I walked back to the south side of the park so it would be easier for my friend EY to pick me up. We had a fabulous Manhattan-type brunch at Mission Beach Cafe (I was so hungry I forgot to take a photo of my food!) and then picked up some pastries for Stewart and the kids at Thorough Bread and Bakery (restaurant links included because they are so good and I want you to go there!). Did I mention that Stewart and the kids were waiting for me back at the hotel? There was no way that I was going to get up at 4 AM to take the Bart to SF, so we had spent the night close to the start of the course. I made it back, cleaned up the disaster of a hotel room, and walked to the minivan to drive back to our life in suburbia. Originally we had planned to take the kids to Fisherman's Wharf this afternoon, but I just couldn't muster up the energy. The kids were happy with a banana split from the Ghirardelli on Market Street instead of in Ghirardelli Square, and we were on our way. I told Stewart he should run the race next year--the view from the Golden Gate Bridge is magnificent!


Scott P. said...

That's a great story, Eunice! Thanks for sharing. I'm certain your kids will want to follow mommy's footsteps and run it as well.

Cindy said...

Congrats on finishing the race!

Amy Anderson said...

Awesome! Congratulations! Looks like it was a blast!